Thursday, 8 December 2011

Grasssroots Coaching....The English Way?

There is a lot of talk in the media and on the web about English coaches so I thought I would write a stereotypical English session. The sort many adults may have run before they become educated in how children learn and develop. Give a dad some balls and some kids to train and this what you may have expected to see.

Warm Up - Watch any pro game and you will see players doing a lot of running to warm up. So get the kids warmed up by sending them on laps of the pitch, jogging along the length and sprinting along the width. To prevent it getting boring for them you could make them touch the ground or jump and header on your command. If anyone doesn't put the effort in - send them all around again. Make sure the training balls stay in the bag until you are satisfied that they are all out of breath and ready to train!

Cone Dribbling - This one is all about the line. A line of cones and line of players. Space should be limited to one or two paces between each cone. Make sure that you the coach go first and show them how its done. An example of the drill is shown in the video below, although obviously you will have more players waiting in the line to have their turn than this coach does.

King of the Ring - A player that cant dribble and keep possession of the ball in this game will spend a lot of time watching his mates. Every player has a ball and dribbles it around the area (the ring), on the coaches word the battle begins and players have to kick their teammates ball our of the ring while keeping control of their own ball. When a players ball is kicked out they go and wait at a designated area. the last player with a ball is crowned King of the Ring. This video demonstrates the game well, but don't bother with any of the skills challenges, have them wait for the next game.

Shooting PracticeShooting practice again gives the coach a lot more opportunities to touch the ball than the players. The players all line up somewhere outside the area, then either by throwing or passing the ball, the coach sets up each player in turn for a shot at goal. This video of the USWNT gives you an idea of what to do...

Normal Match This is the coaches opportunity to show how good he is and that given the right circumstances he could of made it as a Professional. To ensure he is on the winning side the coach should ensure that he has the best players on his team, also don't forget as well as being Captain of the team, you need to be referee as well (split decisions should always go your way - its an unwritten rule!). After all the result of any match is the most important thing...right???


witm8 said...

Very good article with observations that I'm sure that we've all come across. However, as well as highlighting what people are doing WRONG how's about adding a little sentance at the end of each section, saying how things could be done different, use your knowledge and expertese to help others get out of this possible rut, and make things easier.

You start your post by saying:

"Give a dad some balls and some kids to train and this what you may expect to see."

Fair enough, but at least he's stepped forward and is prepared to give it a go!

Obviosuly he needs help, rather than someone who's more experinced looking down their nose at them and highlighting whats wrong.


Coachandy said...


Thanks for taking the time to read the article and for your feedback.

I certainly dont see myself as an expert, more of someone who has learned lessons throughout my time coaching and is prepared to share them.

Hopefully readers will see the article for what it was - A bit of a light hearted look at things and contrast it with the other session plans I have posted and find alternative ways of doing things.

Thanks again

Jonny said...

This is just another negative article about how poor English coaching is.

I would have liked you to show a comparison comparison beween say a dutch or spanish session compared to the English one.

Anonymous said...

It seems your attempt at a bit of good old British humour has flown over the heads of a few of your readers Andy!

Anonymous said...

Nothing like sarcasm and us Brits are world champs at it....

Anonymous said...

Coach Andy, really appreciate your comments (do you detect any sarcasm)? You must be a fantastic coach....

Coachandy said...

Thanks for ALL the feedback, sarcastic or not!

I was taught a long time ago by a top class coach (not involved in football) that feedback is the breakfast of champions and the best thing about feedback is that you can choose to ignore it or you can choose to do something about it.

Its choosing the right things to ignore and the right things what do something about that makes people great.

Soccer Franchises said...

Informative video! Grassroot football is football for everyone, by everyone, everywhere. The key concept of the programme is to bring together as may people as possible through football. Thanks a lot.

soccer4coaches said...

I've seen "A" license coaches run those "knock-out" sessions in the ring. I'm bored watching these drills so can only imagine a kid taking up X-Box instead of practice but point made. No lines, No lectures, make it fun, run with a ball (in circles looking up?) and move it to a small game. My kids asked for more practices and longer practices. Is that a good sign?